Dandruff

Description: A condition in which the scalp begins to itch and flak, a common name for a mild form of seborrhoeic dermatitis.

Persons most commonly affected: All age groups (other than in infancy) and both sexes, but more common in late teens and early twenties.

Organ or part of body involved: Skin

Symptoms and indications: Dry white scales are shed on to clothes. Occasionally dandruff can develop into a more severe seborrhoeic dermatitis.

Causes and risk factors: Internal causes include hormonal imbalance, poor health, poor hygiene, allergic hypersensitive, lack of rest, emotional stress, excessive consumption of sugar, fat, starch, improper nutrition, and heredity predisposition. External causes include excessive use of hair sprays and gels, improper use of hair-coloring products or excessive use of hot hair curlers or curling irons, cold weather and dry indoor heating, stress and anxiety, infrequent shampooing of the hair or inadequate rinsing of the scalp and hair.

Prevention: To keep the hair and scalp clean so as to minimise the accumulation of dead cells, brushing of hair daily to improve circulation and remove any flakiness, and massaging the scalp daily and applying hair oil at least thrice a week. Avoid chocolates, nuts and shellfish. Lessen stress and avoid exposure to extreme weather.

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